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Sisco Takes Step Up For Orioles



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Chance Sisco (Photo by Mike Janes) Chance Sisco (Photo by Mike Janes)[/caption]

BEST PLAYER: The knock on Double-A Bowie catcher Chance Sisco had been his work behind the plate. His bat could play, but his defense and arm received poor grades from scouts outside the organization.

Not anymore.

A 2013 second-round pick from high school in Corona, Calif., Sisco hit .308/.397/.379 with 15 doubles through 61 games, but that’s only part of his story.

"He’s also gotten better defensively,” farm director Brian Graham said. "His skills have really improved. His receiving has improved, his ability to throw is improving and he’s maturing as a hitter. It’s not just about batting average. The guy understands the strike zone and is using all fields and hitting good pitching.”

Sisco, who won the South Atlantic League batting title in 2014 with a .340 average, is hitting it in the Eastern League at age 21.

BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD: High Class A Frederick lefthander Tanner Scott is known for his fastball velocity. The 21-year-old touched 100 mph in the Arizona Fall League, but he’s becoming more of a pitcher this year, while still maintaining his high-end velocity.

"Tanner in the month of May and June has just been tremendous,” Graham said, "(in terms of) the consistency in his delivery and his ability to throw strikes. He’s even throwing his breaking ball—his slider—for strikes now.”

Scott, a 2014 sixth-rounder from Howard (Texas) JC, struck out 53 batters in his first 39 innings and held opponents to a .108 average.

"Guys who throw that hard, and who get near the strike zone, the hitters have to swing,” Graham said. "(But) they don’t know exactly where it’s coming when it’s 95-100 (mph). Tanner’s now throwing in the strike zone, using both sides of the plate and throwing his slider for strikes.”

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: The Orioles selected Florida State outfielder D.J. Stewart with the 25th overall pick in 2015 with the idea that he’d move quickly through the system, but he hit just .230/.366/.352 in 62 games at low Class A Delmarva. He struggled so much that he went back to his old stance, crouching instead of staying more upright.

Francisco-Mejia-2017-bm

2018 Position Rankings: Catchers

This year's catcher class is deep with a mix of offensive and defensive backstops.

"I like D.J., but he hasn’t gotten on track yet,” Graham said. "(He) has bat speed, strength and athleticism. When D.J. gets on track, he’s going to be a good-looking player . . . We’re letting D.J. hit from the position he wants to. And at some point, collectively, we’ll figure out the right position to hit from.”

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